It must be the childhood memories associated with figs that makes me love them so much. Memories that take me back to the south of France. I was looking for the precious fruit the day i got 37 bee stings at a summer camp. I found a bee nest instead. Another time i was busy experimenting with figs and firecrackers when my brother got the genius idea to set my butt on fire just for fun. I made a legendary-record-shattering run to the lake that day.
Figs were also on the kitchen table as i was struggling to explain to my father why i got temporarily ejected from boarding school. But no, no… couldn’t touch those. It would have been too risky to reach-out and pop one of these babies in the midst of so much drama. They could have been bruised or worse.. smashed! Mmm.. but they looked plum and ripe though, and… p..purple like my hematomas. Gosh.. I am traumatized!! Is there a psychiatrist in the room? I need to lay down on a sofa.. Anyone!?.. Help!!..Please?
Then, there was the smell of rosemary in the air, the fruit tarts my grandmother would make with a layer of sweet whipped mascarpone flavored with lemon zest underneath the fresh berries, and the honey we would pick-up from the guy who looked like an astronaut in his spacesuit. He would always scare the crap out of me, Monsieur Paul. He would tell me he could moonwalk like Michael Jackson. Freak!!
In the grand scheme of things and particulary on my plate, everything eventually finds its place.
I don’t know if it’s my butt on fire or the touch of the cool lake that inspired this dessert but all these traumatizing experiences osmosed -in some weird way- and gave birth to this fig tart. The rosemary went into the tart dough, the bees made the honey, the honey was harvested by a Monsieur Paul somewhere, my Grandma’s zesty mascarpone remained the same, and the precious ripe figs were placed on top and finished off with a drizzle of that warm honey flavored with a sprig of fresh rosemary, et voila!
For the rosemary sweet tart dough:
- 1 cup plus 1 tablespoon (125 grams) confectioners’ sugar
- 1 3/4 cups (255 grams) all-purpose flour
- Pinch of salt
- 8 tablespoons (120 grams) unsalted butter, softened
- 1 large egg
- 2 tablespoons rosemary, finely chopped
For the tart:
- 8 ounces mascarpone
- 1/2 cup whipped cream
- 1/4 cup confectioners’ sugar
- Zest of 1 lemon, finely grated
- 15 to 20 ripe figs, sliced
- 1/4 cup good-quality honey
- 1 sprig of fresh rosemary
- Sift together the confectioners’ sugar, flour, and salt into a bowl.
- Place the butter in a food processor and process until smooth, about 15 seconds. Scatter the flour mixture and the rosemary over the butter, add the egg, and process just until the dough forms a mass; do not overmix. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.
- Let the dough soften a little (this recipe makes enough dough for 2 tarts). Lightly butter a 9 1/2-inch fluted tart pan with removable bottom.
- Dust a work surface and roll out the dough. Press the dough into the pan and roll the pin over the top of the pan to remove the excess dough. Prick the bottom of the tart shells all over with a fork. Chill the tart for 20 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 325’F. Line the tart shell with aluminum foil and fill with dried beans, rice, or pie weights. Bake the tart shell for 15 minutes. Remove the foil and beans and continue baking for 10 minutes or until evenly golden brown. Cool completely on a wire rack.
- Whisk together the mascarpone, the heavy cream, the confectioners’ sugar, and the lemon zest in a medium bowl until thick and smooth. Spoon the mascarpone mixture evenly on the bottom of the cooled tart shell. Arrange the fresh figs on top. In a small saucepan, heat up the honey with the sprig of rosemary and drizzle over the figs. Enjoy!